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PFF: Ravens offense is up-in-the-air, Jimmy Smith on the down-swing

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Houston Texans v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

The grades aren’t good, folks. At least not most of them. The offense failed to produce anything more than a single drive and the defense allowed 36 points. The days of shutting down teams in the second half are over. The 11-sack shellacking of the Titans was a clear anomaly.

OFFENSE

The Ravens’ highest graded player was RG Marshal Yanda (76.0), who allowed one hit. As a unit, the offensive line ranks ninth in Pass Block Efficiency this season (83.0).

With such a pitiful run game, the offense has been passing all season. I’m not surprised the pass-blocking is performing well because Joe is healthy and the weapons are making just enough plays to keep them afloat in most contests.

QB Lamar Jackson was on the field for 14 snaps, his highest mark since his Week 1 garbage time action against the Bills (30). His 68.6 overall game grade ranked third on the offense, with his 73.2 run grade the best of the season so far for him.

Not ideal to have your best player given a 76.0 grade and your third-best nearly 10 points fewer. Also, it’s the back-up quarterback ranking third for offense. This offense needs to get it together. Receivers need to step up and Joe can’t keep throwing asinine interceptions.

DEFENSE

CB Tavon Young graded out at 91.0, the highest mark on the defense. He allowed one reception on two targets for -2 yards.

Good to see at least one cornerback producing on this defense. Young is a great slot corner and he was one of the few on the field containing the Panthers offense.

Starter Jimmy Smith gave up five of six targets thrown into his coverage for 58 yards, and since his return has given up 12 of 15 receptions for 182 yards and one touchdown.

Is he not in football shape? Has he lost a step? What happened to his game against the Browns? In his return, he played 35 snaps and gave up zero interceptions on being targeted only once. Since then, he’s allowed 12 catches on 14 targets in his coverage. It looks like Jimmy’s seat is getting warmer; he’s due $15.85 million next year and Baltimore would save $9.5 million by releasing him.

OLB Za’Darius Smith returned to his prolific pass rushing ways with a six pressure performance (two hits, four hurries). DE Brent Urban added three hurries, but no one else managed more than one pressure.

Locking up Za’Darius is a priority, to me, this offseason. He’s an up-and-coming linebacker playing an important role for the defense. Terrell Suggs’ contract is up after this year and I don’t know if he’ll hang it up or not. Either way, it’s ideal to have somebody capable of creating pressure along the edge.

Good to see Urban also producing and healthy. It was smart for both sides to sign this one-year contract of $1.1 million because Urban’s been thriving. If only the others along the interior could create pressure and get to the quarterback.